THE GRAVITY PROJECT
The Gravity Project, led by Paul Grabowsky, (+ Rob Burke) is a nine-piece ensemble presenting a contemporary cultural prism of musical experimentation in composition and improvisation.
Artistically, the overarching aim for The Gravity Project is to create a transcultural musical dialogue through a carefully structured collaboration of Japanese musicians (who are leaders in the performance of traditional Japanese music and a rapper), performing with Australian improvising and electronic focused musicians playing original music of the now.
Barlines and Beyond
Rob Burke and Stephen Magnusson composed compositions for improvisation over Indian modes, (which were superimposed with diatonic and pantonal harmonic approaches). Debasis Chackroborty performed within his parameters of expertise (modal) and creativity but was open to integrating the jazz approach of the Stephen and Rob. In a sense, each musician brought their own tradition to the music and adapted their expertise and creativity to the overall sonic environment and musical outcome.
Released August 31, 2017.
- Rob Burke: Tenor, Soprano Saxophones and Alto Clarinet
- Debasis Chakroborty: Indian Classical Slide Guitar
- Stephen Magnusson: Electric Guitar
- Sam Evans: Tabla/Percussion Recorded 5th June 2015
- Engineered: Hadyn Buxton
- Mixed: April 16 2016, Mastered: November 2016 by Andrea Benassai
- Sonoria Recording Plant, Prato Italy.
- Produced by Robert Burke
- Artwork by Atia Cader
- Recorded at Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music – Monash University
Further, this project is about innovation through the agency of human and mechanical interaction; the understanding of how the musician interacts with the machine is an area of interest that is relevant to twenty-first century as it allows the creation of greater possibilities, greater opportunities and ultimately freedom to express (Rob Burke).
- Rob Burke: Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
- George Lewis: Trombone and Electronics
- Paul Grabowsky: Piano and Snare Drum
- Mark Helias: Acoustic Bass
This is the music that Paolo Angeli grew up with, and at first blush it would not seem to intersect with modern jazz. But Angeli is a musician who is not averse to pushing down barriers between genres and styles. Here is a musician, who when the normal six stringed guitar proved inadequate for his ideas, built one with 18 strings (six normal, eight transverse, and four suspended) incorporating hammers, pedals, motors and pick ups. Rob Burke (coordinator of jazz and popular music at Monash University) initiated and led a project to combine Angeli with three Australian jazz musicians and an Italian rhythm section, all of whom share a jazz sensibility and an openness to ideas and a passion for creativity, put them in a studio and press the record button.
Recorded in December 2015 in the small but beautiful Tuscan town of Prato, the group used traditional Sardinian tunes as a base to experiment, improvise and collaboratively create new music that shimmers into unexpected and innovative directions. Some of the pieces are short, simple fragments of ideas, while others are complex and developed exploration of what’s possible, and all of it is unified by a sense of healing, a ritualistic, almost liturgical elevation of the soul, the music of a new generation of (pardon the pun) angels.
- Paolo Angeli: prepared Sardinian Guitar and ‘gadgets’
- Robert Burke: tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet
- Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax, soprano sax, baritone sax
- Jordan Murray: trombone
- Stephen Magnusson: electric guitar
- Stefano Tamborrino: drumset
Power of the Idea
The concept of the album was based on original compositions that informed free improvisation. The overarching theme being the ‘power of the idea’ with spontaneous improvisations that were perceived to be genuinely ‘in the moment’ as distinct from pre-conceived material.
Discussions regarding the rhythm section that would be needed for the recording led to Werner suggesting musicians that he had a strong rapport with: Johannes Weidenmueller and Richie Barshay – an empathy that is evident in this recording.
The repertoire selected is a combination of Kenny Werner, Robert Burke and a beautiful tune by Paul Grabowsky.
Live at Bennetts Lane
With the breadth of experience and long-standing connection being what it is, the quartet set their live performances alight. Now, recorded live for the first time, that flow and creativity which lifts this quartet above the rest, is captured in this expansive six-track recording.
The selection of tracks was guided by the creativity within the performances of the group and features compositions by Rodgers and Hart and Cole Porter alongside compositions by the Quartet.
Live at Bennetts Lane perfectly captures their definite live ensemble sound at its best, live on the bandstand.
- Robert Burke: Tenor and Soprano Sax
- Tony Gould: Piano
- Nick Haywood: Bass
- Tony Floyd: Drums
Here – Rob Burke and Tony Gould
The performance outcome of this musical relationship is the blend of a flexibility of ideas and which only time can nurture. Burke and Gould have spent much time debating technical aspects, styles and musical concepts of their new release “Here”; where every note has its own reason for existing.
Here is the title composition and a melodic link for the improvisations which offers continuity to the recording. While some of the compositions are mostly improvised, this is not always the rule as composition and improvisation are, at times difficult to define.
We hope you enjoy the beauty of sound that lies within HERE.
The Edge Of Today – Rob Burke
- Rob Burke: sax, bass clarinet, flute
- Doug de Vries: guitar
- Slava Grigoryan: guitar
- Stephen Magnusson: guiitar
- Geoff Hughes: guitar
- Peter Petrucci: guitar
- Tony Floyd: drums
- Nick Haywood: bass
Wide Eyed – Rob Burke Quartet
Tony Gould sets the scene which allows the rest of the group to create compositions that exemplify the melodic quality of Rob Burke on saxophones and alto clarinet, Tony Floyd’s drums and Nick Haywood’s bass.
‘This is music I love to play with my friends because of their honesty and their freedom to create music. Importantly, this CD is about a group of musicians expressing their collective emotions and ideas at the moment of performance. Our goals do not include preconceived agendas and formulas, just spontaneity and simply – improvisation.’ Rob Burke
Wide Eyed was the Rob Burke Quartet’s first release.
Ears For Civil Engines – Various Artists
Ears For Civil Engines features Rob Burke, Julien Wilson, Sam Keevers, Paul Grabowsky, Scott Tinkler and Tim Stevens. An illustration of just how good Australian jazz talent is – great songs and great blowin’.
Offline – Dodge
There are no bittersweet chord clusters and no “look at me playing”. Just the soul of Rob Burke’s sax and Russell Smith’s trumpet and trombone, mixed with Tony Floyd’s savage backbeat all woven together with Nick Haywood’s bass lines. Offline not only feels good but is good for you.
Gateway- Robert Burke and Tony Gould
Javabubbaboogaloo – Various Artists
Javabubbaboogaloo showcases the talent of some of the best of the growing Melbourne scene’s hottest players in a mix-and-match line up that keeps your fingers snapping and your toes tapping with jazz grooves.
A Tin Roof For The Rain – Rob Burke and Tony Gould
By its very nature, it is music of the moment. Why record at all then? Well, it’s fun to do, it’s a great learning experience, it is a historical record which helps us to understand where we came from, where we are now and possibly where we are going. There is also the possibility that listeners are as distinct from players may want to enjoy the experience more than once!
The pieces were chosen for their melodic and harmonic material and thus their potential for variation and ins some cases development. They come from a diversity of minds and styles, from the talented young pianist/composer Tim Stevens who is rich with musical languages, to Leonard Bernstein’s marvellous “Somewhere”, to pieces by Rob and myself.
The title of the CD comes from the late John Sangster who once wrote in a memorable letter. “G’day luv, have just bought meself a little Queenslander with a tin roof for the rain…” His ingenious turns of phrase were like his playing, full of surprises and quirks yet always beautiful and humanly musical. I hope some of this attitude can be heard here.